Elizabeth Banks to Lead Star-Studded Fundraiser ‘Operation to Save Abortion’

US actress Elizabeth Banks arrives for the premiere of "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" at the Regency Village theatre on February 2, 2019 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Chris Delmas / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images)
CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images

Actress Elizabeth Banks and The Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead are leading a star-studded day-long fundraiser to save abortion as millions of Americans have lost their jobs and healthcare workers are treating thousands of vulnerable patients who are now also afflicted with the coronavirus that originated in China.

Banks and Winstead, founder of Abortion Access Front (AAF),are teaming up with W. Kamau Bell, Nikki Glaser, Jenny Slate, Sandra Bernhard, and Margaret Cho in the April 30 event dubbed “Operation Save Abortion” that will support independent abortion providers, says The Hollywood Reporter (THR).

According to the report, the celebrities claim pro-life officials are using the coronavirus pandemic to block access to abortion, and that those who perform the procedure are suffering with “increased costs related to the pandemic such as payroll for staff, purchasing needed supplies, telemedicine technology costs and paying rent.”

Winstead told THR the average abortion clinic requires $50,000 per month to keep its doors open:

This is important now because anti-abortion politicians are using COVID as a way to halt abortion access. This country has already profoundly stripped away access to abortion care. To think that they would use a pandemic as an excuse to cut off health care to people in a time where so many people are food, housing and job insecure because they see an opening to achieve their political goals is unconscionable.

The abortion industry has come under a barrage of criticism for refusing to stop the elective procedures, even as other medical procedures, such as colonoscopies, have been stopped in order to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers treating coronavirus patients. Planned Parenthood, other abortion providers, and their allies have filed lawsuits against states that have included abortion as an “elective” procedure.

Winstead’s group, Abortion Access Front, invites supporters to think of them as “Habitat for Humanity” for abortion clinics.

“AAF travels to abortion clinics all around the country to remind them they’re loved and appreciated by providing practical and emotional support,” its website states.

“As someone who has had abortions, I know that they allowed me to create a life for myself that allowed me to survive and thrive,” Winstead said. “Thank God for those who provide this care; it saves lives, and I will not sit back and let those who provide abortions and those who need them be alone in this fight.”

In July, a Netroots Nation panel, also called “Operation Save Abortion,” and moderated by Winstead, demonstrated terminating a pregnancy by using a watermelon. During the panel a woman used the fruit to show how “we create suction to remove pregnancy tissue.”

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